Klarinet Archive - Posting 000045.txt from 1997/12
From: Bill Hausmann <bhausman@-----.com>
Subj: Re: Bass clarinet necks
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 05:30:16 -0500
At 10:21 AM 12/1/97 -0700, Shouryu Nohe wrote:
>In truth, there is no such thing as a 'sax embochure (sp?)'. The
>the saxes and clarinets are the same fundamentally. The real difference
>is pressure. The construction of the saxophone requires that from the
>middle C (fourth space) and up, you can play with pretty much the same
>pressure the clarinets, and virtually the same embochure altogether.
This has been my experience as well.
>This holds true with all saxes in my experience (I am told that the
>soprano requires an unusally loose embochure, however).
Only on the bottom notes. Overall, it is very much like clarinet,
including the angle (on straight sopranos). But the jaw must drop
considerably by the time you get down to low C or sopranos play extremely
The ANGLE has
>NOTHING to do with the sound, only ARTICULATION. Saxes, in general, do
>not use the exact same tonguing method clarinetists use (or SHOULD use, as
>the case often is), which is the tip of the tounge striking only the tip
>of the reed. Because of the angle that the mouthpiece is inserted,
>saxists cannot tongue as fast with this method with so much mouthpiece in
>their mouth. This is because the tongue must be pulled back farther into
>the mouth to make a tip to tip connection. Clarinetists do not have this
>problem because the mouthpiece is angled up more--we have the same amount
>of mouthpiece in our mouths, but it doesn't protrude as far back due to
>the angle, so our tongues can remain relatively less strained than saxes.
>Saxes generally tongue a little farther back on their tongue instead to
>compensate for the angle.
>Now, to apply this to bass clarinet. Since the angle of general necks
>place the angle much like saxes, use the same embochure as you would on a
>clarinet and sax. It's not different, really. (Note: Generally, you
>play on softer reeds on lower instruments, so the pressure won't be quite
>as firm; that is the one notable difference between sop. clar. and bass
>clar.) Instead of tonguing tip to tip as you would on clarinet, tongue as
>you would on sax, a bit farther back on the tongue...I might even go so
>far as to suggest anchor tongue at first, then work your way closer to the
>tip of the tongue. It IS possible to tongue tip to tip on the 'incorrect'
>angled necks, but you most likely won't be able to tongue as fast. (This
>holds true on saxes as well.)
>The point? The emborchures are the same. Just alter the articulation
>slightly. Now, if you've been playing clarinet for forever and are
>completely new to bass, yes, it will be awkward. But it's really not all
I think you have a point here. I will be thinking about it as I play my
bass in a concert tonight! (In full compliance with what appears to be
Michigan state law for holiday concerts, we WILL be performing Leroy
Anderson's "Christmas Festival," the acceptable alternate being, of course,
Bill Hausmann bhausman@-----.com
451 Old Orchard Drive http://www.concentric.net/~bhausman
Essexville, MI 48732 http://members.wbs.net/homepages/z/o/o/zoot14.html
ICQ UIN 4862265
If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is too loud.